We have taken the dive head first into this year’s homeschooling. After deciding to wait until Hannah’s first birthday dust settled, we began our intro creation lessons for ten days. Like usual, I did some testing on day one of homeschooling to figure out my launching point. Some simple flash cards and games have been useful evaluation tools. Since kids are kids and some days they guess better than others, I like to repeat my “testing days” with a review game day thrown in every six weeks or so to see where the girls are falling in comparison to the State standards for their grade level. A this point our State does not require homeschoolers to show anything other than “marked progress” on their lessons, but I figure since my girls will be competing with the public and private school graduates for future jobs, I would like to stay informed about the competition’s standards.
That aside, it was neat to compare Rachael’s skills to her first testing days way back at 2.5 years old. I have expanded the original testing material (letters, numbers, oral counting, shapes, colors, etc) and just give each kiddo a shot at the material even if it’s the first exposure on test day.
But my Abi, she sincerely astonished me. I have only formally worked with primary and secondary colors with Abi. And yet somewhere in the mix my little absorber picked up identification of three numbers, six shapes, eighteen (18!!!) letters, and oral counting to 24. Um…. someone’s been listening while playing nearby. Abi may appear to be disinterested or busy, but that kid is soaking it all in like a sponge! And since we began homeschooling a week and a half ago she has managed to add three more numbers to her identification skills.
So I have had my work cut out for me. And they are starving for more and more. It’s so fun to learn alongside of them.
We’ve enjoyed our “My Father’s World” curriculum this year. Compared to last year’s Answers in Genesis preschool curriculum, I have enjoyed the more clear teacher’s schedule at a glance. It’s nice to have the week laid out for me and the total school day’s flexibility is a lot less hands-on for me, the teacher, and a lot more child driven. We’ve taken the opportunity to add on math workbooks to the curriculum, though. Because while the curriculum adds in Math gently throughout the lessons, it’s a bit too simple for my math hungry kids. And they really enjoy doing workbooks with colorful pictures. I also enjoy the opportunity to spend the one-on-one time with each of them when it comes to Math. Rachael identified her Math workbook as “real homeschool” when I first handed it to her. Hehe. And you should see their excitement when they complete the page! I’ve just gone to the dollar store and added the cutest and brightest workbooks I can find that address challenges for my girls but are also not over their heads. Then we do a page or two a day. When we come close to completing that workbook, I find a new one. Sometimes they’re themed (like Rachael’s Little Mermaid phonics workbook that she’s going to flip over when we begin adding it to the lessons) and sometimes they’re generic. But bright and colorful sells itself well in our little world. And the girls really enjoy going and getting their math workbooks, a pencil, and a lapdesk on their own.
Since we’ve been doing homeschooling while the babies nap, it’s provided many opportunities to spread out on the floor. While handwriting and more intense fine motor worksheets find us at the table, the girls have enjoyed learning from their bellies for much of our homeschool morning.
Less helpful Furry moment.
We also have enjoyed the craft-heavy Creation introduction of My Father’s World. The girls have LOVED cutting out magazine pictures, drawing, taping, and gluing until they stick to everything.
Yep, it’s been a wonderful start to the year!